Retford set for Changing Places
Plans for the fully accessible toilet were announced in July 2016 on what was the annual Changing Places Awareness day. This followed an 18-month campaign by Bassetlaw resident Alison Beevers to bring a Changing Places toilet to the town.
The £70k facility, which will be located next to the existing public toilets on Chancery Lane, has been made possible thanks to £46k of funding from Bassetlaw District Council, in addition to contributions of £12k each from the Nottinghamshire Learning, Disability and Autism Partnership Board, and Nottinghamshire County Council.
A further £3,514 was raised by local residents, carers and businesses as part of a Retford Changing Places campaign to help with the annual maintenance and operational costs.
The additional support provided by a Changing Places toilet includes a Ceiling Hoist, Height Adjustable Changing Bench and Height Adjustable Wash Basin.
The new facility is expected to open to the public in spring 2017 and Retford campaigner Alison, whose son Mylor has the condition cerebral palsy, said:
“We are delighted to see the construction phase of the facility commence. Only a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a parent of a disabled child who had been changing her five-year-old on the toilet floor of a Retford business and said she couldn’t wait for this.
“The need for a Changing Places facility in Retford is very real as people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, often need extra support to allow them to use the toilets comfortably.
“Because standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability or the elderly, as well as their carers and families, Changing Places toilets are vital in town centres, cities, hospitals and tourist hubs.”
Cllr Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said;
“This is a fantastic facility that will help to change the lives of parents, relatives and carers who desperately need access to a Changing Places toilet. I’m certain that this addition will make visiting Retford Town Centre a much more pleasant and relaxing experience and hope that this may also encourage more people to visit Retford on a more regular basis.
“It has taken a lot of hard work by everyone involved to get the project off the ground and it’s great to see that work has now started. I look forward to seeing it opened in just a few short months’ time.”
Changing Places toilets are more spacious than standard disabled toilets and have extra facilities to accommodate people with a wide range of disabilities and learning difficulties, who often need extra support to allow them to use the toilets comfortably. The additional support provided by Changing Places includes a Ceiling Hoist, Height Adjustable Changing Bench and Height Adjustable Wash Basin to name a few. There are currently Changing Places toilets in over 900 venues across the UK.